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News from Seville (WHC meeting 2009)

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Author elsslots
Admin
#1 | Posted: 23 Jun 2009 15:23 
According to the Agenda, the decisions on what site is In and what site is Out will all be taken at the end of the week (Fri-Sat).

The meeting officially opened today. The news report says that there are 27 sites up for inscription. Earlier there was talk of 30 - so maybe 3 have been withdrawn?

Author Solivagant
Registered
#2 | Posted: 25 Jun 2009 01:42 | Edited by: Solivagant 
It is perhaps surprising that it is only 3 withdrawals since we already "know" from published sources (which might be wrong!) that more than this (at least - the ICOMOS reports have stayed largely hidden from public view unlike IUCN which published theirs) have not been "passed" for inscription by the advisory body (AB). Namely these 5 - Dinosaur Coast, Le Corbusier, Schwetzingen, Hälsingland, Jajce. We have also heard that IUCN only Oked 2 (Wadden See, Dolomites) - which implies that Lena Pillars must also have received a thumbs down as the only other "Natural site"?
But perhaps some of these "Nos" were in fact recommendations for re/deferrals. In which case it is still to the benefit of the country to have them formally recorded as such at the WHC so they are given priority when bringing them back in a future year. It would seem that the only sense in "withdrawing" is if a formal rejection is going to be recorded and the country either
a. wishes to avoid the public "humiliation" of having been "shown" to have a very poor sense of what is "World Heritage" class, being unable to put togather a compelling set of documents or else of being incompetent in managing its sites!
or
b. Wanting to improve the dossier/case without the history of a rejection - I still can't get to the bottom of whether/to what extent it is true that a site once rejected can't be resubmitted. There are plenty of examples where this has happeend - albeit after a "decent period"! But this restriction is often quoted - does anyone know of chapter and verse in the rules on this one way or the other?

Author elsslots
Admin
#3 | Posted: 25 Jun 2009 14:05 | Edited by: elsslots 
News from today:
- Dresden has indeed been deleted !!
- And Baku is no longer In Danger

Author Solivagant
Registered
#4 | Posted: 25 Jun 2009 14:32 | Edited by: Solivagant 
And the press release also contained this -
"Dresden was inscribed as a cultural landscape in 2004. The Committee said that Germany could present a new nomination relating to Dresden in the future. In doing so, the Committee recognized that parts of the site might be considered to be of outstanding universal value, but that it would have to be presented under different criteria and boundaries."

But it was UNESCO which, back in 1989 wouldn't inscribe the City of Dresden on the basis of inadequate authenticity and led to the debacle of the "Cultural Landscape" approach.

I view this statement as cynically as Bandarin's comment to the BBC that if only it had been a "better bridge" there wouldn't have been a problem!! It is just public relations on the part of UNESCO to try to appear to be the good and reasonable guy! If they had REALLY believed that then why didn't they negotiate such changes in boundaries and nomination criteria with Dresden? - It all sounds like dishonest crocodile tears! Or was this the compromise "form of words" which UNESCO had to put out to get the delisting vote through. Are we likely to find out what took place in the discussions and vote?

Having had their fingers burnt twice in dealings with UNESCO over Dresden I can't see Germany going for a third roasting anyway! And it doesn't matter - Dresden IS world class ; as UNESCO implicitly recognises in its statement - unlike some of the sites which the WHC will be inscribing later this week.

Now lets see what they say about their host city and its tower!

Author elsslots
Admin
#5 | Posted: 25 Jun 2009 14:38 
Live Blogging on the meeting's progress (I don't know 'how' live, but at least very quick).

Author Solivagant
Registered
#6 | Posted: 25 Jun 2009 16:07 
Intereresting that the Canadian rep writing the blog linked by Els above notes that Canada spoke in favour of the delisting. This is the country which (alone??) opposed the delisting of the Oryx sanctuary in 2007 - despite the Sultan of Oman wanting 90% of the site removed.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/11/AR2008081102963.html? sid=ST2008081200106

As I understand Canadian politics, there hasn't been a change in government since the 2006 election which took place before the Oryx delisting so we have the same government opposing a delisting for a major "infraction" in 2007 and supporting a delisting for what even in terms of WHC opinion seems to be a less significant issue. I wonder what "game" Canada is playing? Any ideas Xeres?

Author Nem
Registered
#7 | Posted: 25 Jun 2009 16:12 

Author david
Registered
#8 | Posted: 25 Jun 2009 17:07 
Mikulcice has been withdrawn: http://www.radio.cz/cz/clanek/117591

Author Xeres
Registered
#9 | Posted: 25 Jun 2009 19:40 
Solivagant is right about Stephen Harper being in power since 2006, so it is the same Canadian government that is both opposing and supporting delistings. Especially with the hubub over Waterton-Glacier it seems strange that Canada would be supporting the removal of dresden from the list. I think the main point is that Dresden is cultural and Oryx was natural. The conservatives (party in power) don't have a very good record on the environment, but they do want to keep Canada's WHS. I think that Canada wants to protect its natural sights (which are more vulnerable to delisting being more numerous and having a lesser quality of protection) but doesn't feel threatened on its cultural sights. thus it doesn't think that the dresden delisting will backfire.
Alternatively Canada could believe, as Kenya does, that a failure to delist the site will set the precedent that countries are free to ignore the concerns and recommendations of the World Heritage Committee.

Author elsslots
Admin
#10 | Posted: 26 Jun 2009 06:11 
The Wadden Sea has been included, Dutch TV has just reported...

Author Durian
Registered
#11 | Posted: 26 Jun 2009 07:15 | Edited by: Durian 
for first day China just scores 1 with Wutaishan, Italy for the Dolomite, Cape Verde with its Ciudad Velha
and Dutch German Wadden sea

Author david
Registered
#12 | Posted: 26 Jun 2009 08:45 

Author Nem
Registered
#13 | Posted: 26 Jun 2009 08:54 | Edited by: Nem 
Here's China:

China's sacred Buddhist Mount Wutai inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List

http://whc.unesco.org/en/news/523

News is being constantly updated.

http://whc.unesco.org/en/news/

Author elsslots
Admin
#14 | Posted: 26 Jun 2009 13:29 
They're now available at this website too, awaiting your reviews IF you've actually been there: see updated list

Author Xeres
Registered
#15 | Posted: 26 Jun 2009 14:46 
four news WHS in as many countries
URL
URL
Loropeni, Shushtar, Royal Joseong Tombs and Sulamain too-sacred mountain

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